ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Rolling on Two Wheels

leniently" and readmitted into the patty, Neither inducement, had the desired effect. For the moment the traffic tot been in the opposite direction: the three SVD MLAs who had crossed over to strengthen Shukla's hands in the tussle for leadership went back and, in addition, the Raja of Sarangarh who had been thought of only a few days ago as a possible leader of the Congress party, moved to the SVD with three of his supporters. This brought to nought Mishra's first attempt to topple the SVD government; in the process the strength of the Congress in the Assembly was reduced to 123 against SVD's 163. Mishra has to persuade at least 16 SVD MLAs to defect to form a government. But one may be sure that the new leader of the MP Congress will set about bridging the gap with the necessary nonchalance, unmindful of the lip-service Congress leaders in New Delhi pay to the need to prevent floor-crossing and defection.

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